Advanced Visual Rehabilitation
Clear, comfortable vision is an important part of performing well at work, school, and in other everyday activities. However, certain medical conditions or injuries may lead to difficulty with your vision. People with functional limitations resulting from visual impairment can improve or restore everyday abilities with neuro-optometric visual rehabilitation. The most effective treatment program for visual rehabilitation is one in which a patient receives input from his or her neuro-developmental optometrist, medical doctor, psychologist, neurologist, and other allied health professionals to create an individualized visual rehabilitation plan.
Post-Concussive Vision Syndrome:
With thousands of individuals receiving concussions each year, one of the most common patient complaints is difficulty with vision. A concussion is a direct impact injury to the brain, meaning that there may be some loss of visual acuity and/or binocular (two-eyed) vision dysfunction. This might include impaired eye-body coordination, double vision, and difficulty coordinating visual and auditory information, poor visual attention, or loss of vision from a portion of the visual field.
Traumatic injury may result from motor vehicle accidents or other sources of trauma to the eyes or brain. When the eyes themselves are impacted by trauma, surgery may restore eyesight but additional vision therapy may be needed to improve visual functioning. In cases of traumatic brain injury, a variety of vision problems may result. Luckily, neuro-developmental optometrists can recommend treatment options to restore everyday functioning following many types of injury.
Children and adults with special needs have a higher rate of vision problems than the general population. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders, Down Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, premature birth, and certain genetic conditions are at higher risk. These groups may experience difficulty focusing, tracking objects, sustaining attention to visual information, or coordinating visual stimuli with movements.
Visual Rehabilitation Procedures:
Visual rehabilitation involves constructing an individualized treatment plan to address each person’s unique issues. In some cases, this may involve occupational therapy to make a person’s environment easier to navigate. For many patients, however, vision therapy offered by a neuro-developmental optometrist is the best way to improve or fully restore visual functioning.
Vision therapy involves special exercises designed to retrain the brain’s visual pathways to perform more efficiently. This is very similar to the types of activities you would do for a bodily injury at an occupational therapy office. Patients may be asked to view objects through special prism lenses, focus on an object as they track it, coordinate eye-body movements, or perform computerized tasks. Over time, these exercises improve visual deficits and reduce functional impairment.